“Living the dream” usually comes with a price, as Steve Bichard’s Kindle version clearly demonstrates. As an American, I had a difficult time “getting” some of the references at first, but the context provided in the plot subtleties quickly had me catching on and empathizing with these “ex-pats”, Linda and Barry, and their desire to improve quality of life through their move to the beautiful French countryside. Once there, they are not necessarily greeted with open arms, mainly due to the snobbery of neighbor Clarissa and some old business of Barry’s (often compounded by his rotten temper!). Intrigue and old secrets, coupled with new complications run rampant, in contrast with the quiet and peaceful countryside that is meant to soothe rather than agitate.
Bichard’s characters are quite realistic and immediately relatable for anyone who has ever been in the shoes of a newcomer. Barry’s temper and Clarissa’s mean-spiritedness highlight the imperfections of each, but also show that they are human, susceptible to their own weaknesses by reacting to situations presented as they are used to by habit. Dialogue is bright and witty, and true to each character. Linda’s and Barry’s love for each other is obvious through their well-written and realistic banter, for example.
The content of the plot is filled not only with information to benefit the English to French translation for the do-it-yourselfer, but also with some intriguing twists and turns to keep the reader entertained to see if it all turns out all right in the end! I recommend this book for the informational and entertainment value equally!
This book can be purchased at Amazon Kindle